Shannon Corcoran

Mathematical Sciences
Londonderry, New Hampshire

Choreographed Pursuit

Shannon Corcoran wasn’t ready to give up dancing. But the self-proclaimed math nerd also wanted to follow a rigorous academic path.

A collegiate dance team and a caring professor helped her meld her love of dancing and numbers.

Shannon's Path

Clemson Rally Cats

I’ve been dancing since I was 3, and I wasn’t ready to give it up when I came to college. So I convinced my mom to let me fly down for Clemson Rally Cats tryouts. It was such an intense — and intimidating — three-day process with multiple rounds of performances and cuts. I was so excited when I saw my name in the list of girls who had made the team.

Shannon Corcoran and her fellow Rally Cats celebrate on the field after the national championship game, surrounded by confetti

A mentor

One of my favorite Clemson professors is Dr. Mark Cawood. He gave me the guidance I needed coming into Clemson, which helped set me up for success as a math major and an Honors College student. He’s still my adviser and has been such an inspiring and caring mentor.

Calhoun Honors College » Opens New Window

Getting started

My first couple weeks on campus were crazy. I arrived early for Rally Cats training, classes started, I decided to go through sorority recruitment, and then went to my first college football game ever — on the sidelines dancing as a Rally Cat. It was insane. After that game, I just lay on the floor of my McCabe Hall room and cried (happy tears!). I had found where I belonged.

Studying Abroad

Since I’m in a year-round sport, I couldn’t take off an entire semester to study abroad. But I saw a flyer for a Maymester class in New Zealand and Australia and knew that was perfect. It was a faculty-led program called Humans and the Environment. We gathered data while snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef. I planted trees on the beaches of New Zealand and volunteered at elementary schools. It was amazing.

Study abroad » Opens New Window
Shannon Corcoran pets a Kangaroo in New Zealand

An internship

Dr. Cawood introduced me to the actuarial career path, and this past summer, I interned in the Insurance and Actuarial Advisory Services practice at Ernst & Young in New York City. Coming from a small town in New Hampshire, I never dreamed this could be my life.

Defining   Moment

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